Monday, May 18, 2015
My Election Picks: Who Gets My Kiss of Death?
You can read more about some of these races in my campaign pages, on the left sidebar, and at the Lehigh Valley League of Women Voters. .
Northampton County Council District Three
John Cusick (R candidate)
✓ Mickey Thompson (R candidate)
Though Cusick has County experience, Thompson's knowledge of nursing homes could prove invaluable in turning Gracedale around. Cusick and Executive John Brown, whose leadership has been a disaster, were overheard disparaging Thompson. That's why I would recommend Mickey over John.
Northampton County Council District Four
✓Lorin Bradley (Republican)
Matthew Dietz (Republican)
Bradley;'s specialty is human relations, an area in which Executive John Brown has failed miserably. So despite his ridiculous support for a public paid public relations consultant, I believe he could help turn around poor morale. I also admire his transparency. Dietz impressed me as well, despite his appearance on tea party radio.But it's hardto dispute Bradley's impressive credentials.
Northampton County Judge
Sam Murray has the most experience of the three, has served as a Master and a Juvenile Hearing Officer for the courts, and is the only man in recent history I know to march a little known Little League team from Bethlehem right into the World Series. I think Abe tried too hard, and as a result became deceptive in his mailers and with his support base. Scomillio has been tainted by his association with Executive John Brown, and i especially don't like the idea that he fured someone just before Christmas, while driving somewhere.
Bethlehem City Council four year seats (three)
✓ Mike Recchiuti (i)
✓Willie Reynolds (i)
Bethlehem City Council two year seat (one)
✓Jeff Kocsis (two year)
Matt McKernan (two year)
Olga Negron (two year)
While I think there should be term limits on Bethlehem City Council seats to keep developers from pouring money down their throats, I believe Reynolds and Recchuiti have been effective on Council, and have worked with Mayor Bob Donchez. Martell impressed me just a little more than Colon. For the two year seat, I had a very difficult time between Kocsis and McKernan. I went with Kocsis only because I've heard that McKernan intends to run again in two years if he loses. He should. I even ended up being favorably impressed by Negron's refusal to take money from developers, but not by her ties to Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski.
✓Tom Nolan, an engineer at Lehigh Heavy Forge, is a voice of reason in an often unreasonable Board. Yet he has two Republican opponents. One of them is former Commissioner Art Murphy, who works for Selvaggio and Son. The other, Wayne Buller, is definitely a tea party and RAT favorite. Regulars like Ben Hedrick, Andy Azan and Melissa Miller (significant other of NorCo Council member Seth Vaughn) are behind this campaign. At a debate, Murphy slammed Housenick Park Committee, and often spoke out against funding the library.
✓ Phil Barnard, Manager at Bay Insulation, has been another moderating influence on the Board. Well-spoken and thoughtful, he really listens to residents and tries very hard to be transparent. He's precisely the kind of guy who Republicans should be embracing and grooming for higher office. I could see him as County Executive or in the State Senate.
Phil two opponents, Republican Fran Blatz and Democrat Kim Jenkins. Blatz, whom I believe to be the tea-party candidate, is listed as the Pro-life leader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Jenkins is the Secretary of the Bethlehem Township Athletic Association, which Barnard has steadfastly supported during his four years as a Commissioner. .
Phil deserves re-election.
✓ Incumbent Marty Zawarski is being challenged by two former Republican. They include Paul Weiss and the tea party sponsored candidate, Bob Birk.
To his credit, Zawarski is running hard. That, or unopposed, is the only way to go. Weiss, a good man, is running out of bitterness and not for the right reasons. Birk, whose ethics statement lists his occupation as "unemployed" and has posted yard signs calling the office "comissioner," would make the Township Board a laughing stock.
Zawarski is clearly the best choice among the three Republicans.
Lehigh County Commissioner. - On the R side, the only two candidates worthy of any support are ✓ Dean Browning and ✓Vic Mazziotti. Though they despise each other, they both have commanding knowledge of public finance and both are men of conscience. They'd do better working with each other than against each other. The other candidates include a Commissioner with no backbone (Brad Osborne), a home-schooled music teacher who lives with her mommy and daddy (Amanda Holt) and an arrogant bicyclist who wears bug suits (Marty Nothstein).
There are also four Democrats who are unopposed in their primary.
Whitehall Mayor. - If you believe in democracy, ✓ Ed Hozza, Jr. should be your choice. If you believe in an urban growth regime in which only the monied are heard and are willing to cede over control to Allentown, just write in Pawlowski. Or megalomaniac. Same thing.
Bethlehem Township Mini-Judge. - Three Assistant DAs are seeking the seat being vacated by Magisterial District Judge Joe Barner. Though all three are well-suited, my first choice is ✓ Pat Broscius. As an Assistant District Attorney, she was a powerful voice for children who are sadly neglected and abused, often in the most horrendous ways. It is easy for a person who sees those tragedies every day become bitter, but that never happened to Pat. Like Magisterial District Judge Jackie Taschner one said to me when she was still a DA, "I'm a prosecutor, not a persecutor." It is very possible that Sandy McClure will prevail on the Democratic side. Bill Blake is another very capable person.
Hellertown-Lower Saucon Mini-Judge. - I expect to see ✓ David Tidd easily re-elected on both sides of the ballot. He is simply the best candidate. Repyneck ran an ugly campaign, and made too many wild and reckless allegations to be taken seriously. Amanda Kurecian acted with honor and should be commended.
Bethlehem Mini-Judge. - ✓ Roy Manwaring has spent next to no money for re-election, and most of it comes from his own pocket. Her deserves another term. I never really understood why paul Bender challenged him.
Supreme Court. - My two top picks are Democrat ✓Kevin Dougherty and Republican ✓Corry Stevens.
Superior Court. - Lehigh Valley favorite son ✓ Emil Giordano.
Commonwealth Court. - Coalcracker ✓ Todd Eagen.